<font size=5> CHANGES DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE </font>
<font color=blue size=3 face=times new roman>In a suburb of Nashville, there once was a flourishing congregation of the Lords people. They had a lovely meeting house and prospered for a season. Because of internal conflicts and poor leadership, the congregation disintegrated and ceased to exist. The building still stands but changes have taken place. The sign identifying it as a church of Christ was taken down. The pews, pulpit and communion table were carted away. The former doors were removed and large garage doors installed. At last report a car repair shop occupied it.
No longer do saints assemble there to worship; the gospel is not proclaimed therein. The Lords memorial meal is not observed, nor do sinners have their sins washed away in its baptistery. No children fill its classrooms for Bible study. Satan won the victory! The changes were overwhelming and permanent. It is no longer the home of a church of Christ; it is an auto shop.
Across the nation scores of churches of Christ are engaged in a similar process of change. Seduced by skilled promoters of change they have embarked on a project that will significantly alter every aspect of their being. Consider what their mentors propose:
- Many have already changed their name. They prefer to be known as a Community Church or some other cognomen than church of Christ.
- They have rejected the Bible as the divine pattern for the church (II Tim. 1:13), preferring consensus and the example of various successful denominational bodies.
- They are changing their doctrine. They have repudiated much of what their fathers taught about grace, baptism, worship, church government, the role of women, the nature of the church.
- They are changing their worship. The simple worship of the apostolic church is not pleasing to them. To be bound and limited by Scripture is too restrictive. They view our acappella singing, our simple memorial feast, our Biblical preaching to be old-fashioned, boring and ineffective. They long for excitement and the freshness of change. They wish to be like their religious neighbors who acknowledge no such limitations (I Sam. 8:5).
- They have changed their message of salvation. Salvation by grace (Eph. 2:8,9) has been replaced by salvation by grace alone. Baptism to wash away sins (Acts 22:16) has been replaced by baptism to declare ones previous salvation by grace. The one church which is Gods family of saved souls (Acts 2:47; Col. 1:13) has been replaced with a choice of denominational churches, none of which are really important.
- They have replaced the Biblical teaching and practice of exclusive male leadership for the church (I Tim. 2:8-12; 3:1) with a new model, fashioned after the Feminist cult, that allows women to participate in all aspects of church life i.e., as preachers, teachers, deacons, etc.
- Preaching the gospel has been replaced by story-telling, dramatic skits and other new means of sharing.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now